The Avalanche season hangs in the balance. A lot of you probably already think that it's over.
Losers of five in a row, the Avs now sit in 14th place in the Western Conference, seven points out of a playoff spot. There are only 28 games left. The winning needs to start now.
Luckily, there will be some energy injected into the Avalanche lineup tonight. Peter Forsberg will play.
With the losses of TJ Galiardi and Kyle Cumiskey (and Craig Anderson's personal time), Forsberg's role (he will likely play with Duchene and Hejduk tonight) becomes much more important. One gets the sense that as Foppa goes, the Avalanche go.
The West is so close - a three or four game winning streak would put the Avs right back into contention.
Check out the next four opponents:
Columbus (Tonight) - 1 point ahead of the Avs, currently sitting in 12th
Nashville (Saturday) - 9 points ahead of the Avs, 5th in the West
Calgary (Monday) - 7 points ahead, holders of the 8th spot
Pittsburgh (Wednesday) - No Crosby. No Malkin. Still churning along.
After the Pittsburgh game, the last five of the month are all against Western Conference foes.
There's still time, but I think that the Avalanche's fate ultimately depend on tonight. Can they come out and play like their season is on the line? Or are they going to get scored on early and spend the rest of the game making mental mistakes?
Completely up to them.